Mahfuja Mukul: A state-owned bank owes Tk 8,739 crores to the top 20 defaulters. The cash collection target for January-June this year was Tk 870 crore. But the defaulters have returned only Tk 16 crore, which is 2 percent of the target. However, the reverse is the case for small and medium defaulters. The bank owes Tk 6,459 crores from these defaulters. The target of realization here is Tk 645 crore. The realization is Tk 110 crore, which is 17 percent of the target. That is, even if the small ones give money, the big debtors do not give money. This information has come out in the report of Bangladesh Bank. This information was obtained from a June 2023 report on four state-owned banks. The report was prepared by Bangladesh Bank.
According to this report, another state-owned bank owes Tk 6,854 crores to the top 20 defaulters. The target of cash collection in 6 months was Tk 685 crore. The defaulters paid only Tk 12 crore, which is 2 percent of the target. On the contrary, the bank owes Tk 8,546 crores from other defaulters. The target of collection is Tk 850 crores. The realization is Tk 202 crore, which is 24 percent of the target. In other words, even here the children are trying to give money. In contrast, top borrowers have a very low rate of repayment. The recovery picture of the remaining two banks is slightly better. But not necessarily.
Here Rupali Bank has done best. At the end of December 2022, the bank owes Tk 3,544 crore to the top 20 defaulters. The cash collection target wasTk 335 crores, Tk 65 crores have been collected till June this year, which is 19 percent of the target. Similarly, Tk 5,681 crore was owed to other defaulters. The cash collection target was Tk 570 crore. Tk 264 crore, which is 47 percent of the target, has been realized. The highest achievement of the bank was 144 percent in the previous target as well.
Sonali Bank owed Tk 4,284 crore from the top 20 defaulters. The target of realization wasTk 300 crores, Tk 26 crores have been realized; Which is 9 percent of the target. On the contrary, the amount due from other defaulters was Tk 8,270 crores. The target of realization is Tk 700 crores. Tk 251 crore, which is 36 percent of the target.
According to the report of Bangladesh Bank, at the end of the year 2022, the total amount of loan foreclosed by four state-owned banks is Tk 14,877 crore. Out of this, the collection target is set at Tk 1,310 crores. But till June this year, the banks could not reach even close to the target. These four banks collected only Tk 89 crores in the stipulated time.
It is known that since 2007, Bangladesh Bank has been entering into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to improve the financial condition of four state-owned banks. Despite the close supervision of Bangladesh Bank under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the financial condition of the four state-owned banks is not being improved. The targets set for the banks under the last MoU of 2023 are far from being achieved, the four banks could not even come close.
On the other hand, defaulted loans and capital shortages increased. Most of the loans disbursed are concentrated in just 5 branches. The condition of reducing the excess debt of large customers was also not fulfilled. Cash recovery from other defaulting customers including top defaulters is also not satisfactory. Apart from this, as more than half of the total deposits of the banks are bearing high interest, the operating expenses are also not decreasing. Bangladesh Bank recently held a meeting with the banks. In the meeting, concerns were expressed over defaulted loans and capital shortfall of banks. Along with this, various instructions were given including compliance with minimum capital preservation conditions, bringing down defaulted loans to 10 percent.
In this context, the former governor of Bangladesh Bank Salehuddin Ahmed said, now the bankers are very much dependent on the kindness of big debtors. Please, if you give something, you get it, if you don’t, there is nothing to do. Besides, the year after year of banks’ capital shortfall is bad news for the entire sector. Because, if a bank is in capital deficit, the weakness of its financial base is revealed. As a result, the trust of customers on that bank also decreases. Besides, they have to face difficulties in dealing with banks of other countries. Therefore, the central bank should take effective steps to strengthen the capital base of banks.
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